After 20 years of filmmaking and more than 20 major features to his name, it would be easy for someone as illustrious as director Michael Winterbottom to rest on their laurels. However, given he's the man behind the controversial Casey Affleck-helmed thriller The Killer Inside Me and the harrowing docudrama The Road to Guantanamo, we've come to expect the expected from Winterbottom. His latest project is still set to ruffle a few feathers, though: he's directing a Sacha Baron Cohen comedy, Greed.
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While promoting his new music documentary, On The Road, director Michael Winterbottom sat down with us at the Berlinale to discuss the future of his career. He revealed that he's set his sights on directing a #comedy called Greed, which will star #SachaBaronCohen as a billionaire retail magnate. Unsurprisingly, the film will take satirical aim at the rich, but aside from that, little was known about the project... until now.
When asked about Cohen's involvement in Greed, Winterbottom told us that;
"I think he's great. He's funny. We're trying to do a satire about billionaires and exploitation. It's like both sides of Trump in a way, but it's also about the way in which we all buy clothes that are made by people getting paid 30p an hour in Bangladesh or Vietnam."
Expanding on his views further, Winterbottom explained that:
"The danger of Trump is that it becomes everything he says is wrong, so you don't think about the specific problems. People shouldn't ignore some of the issues that he's tapped into. Just because he's tapped into them, it doesn't mean they're fake issues."
Both Winterbottom and Cohen regularly explore politics in their work, so it's no surprise that President Donald Trump's controversial rise to power will have an impact on Greed's development.
Winterbottom's cinematic future seems bright — but would he ever consider revisiting his filmmaking past? It's a truth universally acknowledged that any property than can get a remake or sequel will get a remake or sequel — but Winterbottom remains adamant that he won't bow to this trend:
"No, I hate it [the idea]... I've done The Trip...but that's it, I'm never making a sequel again."
So, it looks like anyone hoping to see more flesh in a sequel to 9 Songs may have a long wait on their hands.
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Whether Cohen's character turns out to be a specific parody of Trump or whether Greed will take a more subtle approach remains to be seen. That being said, Greed is certainly shaping up to be one of the most interesting comedies currently on the horizon and will surely go some way to make up for the lack of Winterbottom sequels heading our way.
Winterbottom's On The Road explores a captivating love story within the unusual context of a music tour documentary and deserves to be seen by a wider audience upon it's official release in 2017.
Should Greed explicitly take aim at Trump?
(Poll Image Credit: Paramount Pictures)